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Uh oh

Newt’s not doing so well, is he?

(CBS News) HOCKESSIN, Delaware – In a sign that his campaign is in need of fresh funds, Newt Gingrich on Monday began charging $50 to have a photograph taken with him following a campaign speech to Republican County groups here in the northernmost part of the state.

Mandate

What makes it likely that, even if the government offers a generous subsidy to purchase health insurance, a new Republican Congress won’t come along and cut them? Yes, I do believe in another 20 years, this will be a good program – but living through the transition won’t be easy.

Get the smelling salts, clutch your pearls

Get ready for another round of manufactured media drama, where professional campaign operatives and the parrot-like surrogates of their respective candidates will be shocked, stunned and amazed that the president of the United States is waiting to exhale after the election:

For the second time in six months, a live mic picked up a private exchange between the president and a world leader, this time Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

In Seoul on Monday, Obama assured the outgoing Russian leader that a compromise over a contentious missile defense system could be reached after the 2012 election. “This can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama said, referring to incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin. “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”

CBS News has audio of the statements, which followed a 90-minute meeting between Obama and Medvedev over a proposed U.S. missile defense system in Europe. Russia strongly opposes the project, but the United States argues it is necessary to protect against the possibility of a nuclear Iran.

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney seized on the open mic mishap at a rally in San Diego hours later, calling the president’s remarks “alarming” and “troubling.” House Speaker John Boehner joined the fray on Twitter: “We look forward to hearing what he meant by having ‘more flexibility’ on missile defense.”

Well, John (I can call you John, can’t I? I feel like we’ve shared so much already!), I think you already know what he meant. He meant after the election, he won’t have to worry about the dumbass right wing of your nutty party blowing every tiny thing he says or does into an attack ad. He means that he won’t have to defend what would, in another, saner world, be considered perfectly rational policies.

And as for you, Mitt – geeze, your own damned healthcare plan, scaled up for the national plan. “alarms” and “troubles” you! Why don’t you take a Xanax and go lie down for a little nap?

Mixing religion and politics

Kind of a mixed bag, because while this Pew poll shows people are getting a little wary of the mix of politics and religion, it does seem to be working for the Catholic Church with this whole “you’re being oppressed by the Obama administration” routine over birth control:

(Reuters) – Americans are increasingly uneasy with the mingling of religion and politics, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center, in the midst of a campaign season punctuated by tussles over the role of faith in the public square.

Back in 2001, when Pew first asked the question, just 12 percent of Americans complained that their politicians talked too much about religion.

That number has risen steadily ever since and hit a record high in the new poll: 38 percent of Americans, including 24 percent of Republicans, now say their political leaders are overdoing it with their expressions of faith and prayer.

And more Americans than ever, 54 percent, believe churches should keep out of politics. That’s up from 43 percent in 1996, according to the Pew Research Center.

The national poll of 1,503 adults, which has a margin of error of 3 percentage points, was conducted in early March, as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was ramping up its vigorous campaign against a new federal mandate requiring all insurance companies to provide free birth control.
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Mittens has a secret

God love that wacky little corporate raider! Mittens says he can’t tell us what he’d do when elected, mostly because it might lose him the election. Jonathan Chait’s piece is pretty funny, mostly because the Republicans are so capable of then turning on a dime – and accusing Obama of having secret plans he’ll carry out after the election.

So much cognitive dissonance, so little time!

Mitt Romney has embraced a budget plan that would entail cutting federal programs other than defense and Social Security by more than half. It does raise the question of how he plans to carry out such a sweeping goal. In an interview with the Weekly Standard, Romney says he’d eliminate a bunch of departments. But he won’t say which ones:

One of the things I found in a short campaign against Ted Kennedy was that when I said, for instance, that I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, that was used to suggest I don’t care about education,” Romney recalled. “So I think it’s important for me to point out that I anticipate that there will be departments and agencies that will either be eliminated or combined with other agencies. So for instance, I anticipate that housing vouchers will be turned over to the states rather than be administered at the federal level, and so at this point I think of the programs to be eliminated or to be returned to the states, and we’ll see what consolidation opportunities exist as a result of those program eliminations. So will there be some that get eliminated or combined? The answer is yes, but I’m not going to give you a list right now.

One of the things I have found in previous elections is that announcing my plans makes people want to vote against me! This seems to be another case of Romney displaying his endearing but counterproductive habit of being a little too open about how the political game is played. Americans tend to oppose government in the abstract, but favor it in the specifics.

Never had nobody like you

M. Ward:

Commerce clause

How SCOTUS will decide on the individual mandate.

That old black hole

Dr. Dog:

Elizabeth Warren

This is only one reason why I want her to win.

Distracted

by Susie
Trying to take care of my taxes… arghh…

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